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4 Ways to Deal With Stress and Anxiety During COVID-19 Pandemic

By , | April 02, 2020

These are challenging times and as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic sweeps across the world, widespread concern about this public health emergency is normal. While on home quarantine, you may feel frustrated or lonely, bored, or worried about a lot of things – your finances, your work, and your health and of your loved ones. It is important to pay attention to what you have control over, like taking care of your body and mental health as well. These tips can help you get through this stressful time.


These are challenging times and as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic sweeps across the world, widespread concern about this public health emergency is normal. While on home quarantine, you may feel frustrated or lonely, bored, or worried about a lot of things  – your finances, your work, and your health and of your loved ones. It is important to pay attention to what you have control over, like taking care of your body and mental health as well.

These tips can help you get through this stressful time.

 

1. Maintain good health and increase your resistance to illness. Exercise regularly. Eat healthy. Stay hydrated. Get enough sleep and rest.

While gyms are closed, exercises can be in the form of walking, running, or playing with your kids and/or pets, all can help release endorphins which can help you feel better. There are also available exercise routines at home such as cardio workouts, yoga, and Pilates.

Stick to a healthy diet by being mindful of what you eat. Staying hydrated can also boost your immune system. Drinking water helps to oxygenate your cells. When your cells have enough oxygen, they are working at their full capacity, enabling them to guard your body against any foreign bodies that try to enter, and fight them, if they do. 

Now is also the best time to get the recommended amount of sleep to help you manage the stress caused by the pandemic.

 

2. Minimize news consumption. Stay informed, know what’s going on but put a limit on the number of hours you watch the news or check your social media accounts. Too much exposure to the news can increase your anxiety or stress. “It’s easy for some to stay glued to the news because we are on quarantine but if it’s causing stress and anxiety, it would be better to check news updates twice a day or on specific times of the day,” said Dr. Daryl Lindo-Calleja, psychiatrist and head of the Center for Behavioral Health of The Medical City (TMC).

 

3. Connect with others. As recommended by the Psychological Association of the Philippines, stay connected with people whom you value. Use phone, video, or online tools to check on them and to share emotional support. With the current technology, options are endless. Talking to friends and family and staying connected makes you feel a sense of community and is good for your mental well-being.

“You may also reach out to family and friends and talk to them about how you are feeling. Make use of the time to contact those you haven’t talked to for some time and make them feel that you are there for them,” added Dr. Calleja.

 

4. Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy or those that give you a sense of purpose. You can use the new found time to read a good book or try a new hobby. Search the net for online sites offering free access to e-books and audiobooks.

“Or you can help or participate in community efforts or projects against the spread of COVID-19 while at home,” said Dr. Calleja.

While doing something fun for yourself, Dr. Calleja said you should try to vary your activities during the day. It is rather tempting to finish a whole new series and just sit in front of the TV the whole day, but this should be avoided.

Whenever you feel yourself getting caught up in fear of what might happen, try to shift your focus to things you can control. “There will always be fear in the unknown and when there is uncertainty, there will always be fear and stress,” said Dr. Calleja. You cannot control the increasing number of COVID-19 patients but you can take steps to reduce your own personal risk by practicing good hand hygiene and social distancing and by staying home as much as possible.

Following these steps can help you cope with the changes brought about by the pandemic. If you are not able to manage your anxiety or stress on your own, reach out to a trusted person or seek mental health support from mental health/counseling services in your area.

 

For consultation and inquiries, please call the TMC Department of Psychiatry at 8988-1000 or 8988-7000 ext. 6282.

 


 

(References: Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, Psychological Association of the Philippines, and The Medical City Department of Psychiatry)



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4 Ways to Deal With Stress and Anxiety During COVID-19 Pandemic

By ,

April 02, 2020


These are challenging times and as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic sweeps across the world, widespread concern about this public health emergency is normal. While on home quarantine, you may feel frustrated or lonely, bored, or worried about a lot of things – your finances, your work, and your health and of your loved ones. It is important to pay attention to what you have control over, like taking care of your body and mental health as well. These tips can help you get through this stressful time.

These are challenging times and as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic sweeps across the world, widespread concern about this public health emergency is normal. While on home quarantine, you may feel frustrated or lonely, bored, or worried about a lot of things  – your finances, your work, and your health and of your loved ones. It is important to pay attention to what you have control over, like taking care of your body and mental health as well.

These tips can help you get through this stressful time.

 

1. Maintain good health and increase your resistance to illness. Exercise regularly. Eat healthy. Stay hydrated. Get enough sleep and rest.

While gyms are closed, exercises can be in the form of walking, running, or playing with your kids and/or pets, all can help release endorphins which can help you feel better. There are also available exercise routines at home such as cardio workouts, yoga, and Pilates.

Stick to a healthy diet by being mindful of what you eat. Staying hydrated can also boost your immune system. Drinking water helps to oxygenate your cells. When your cells have enough oxygen, they are working at their full capacity, enabling them to guard your body against any foreign bodies that try to enter, and fight them, if they do. 

Now is also the best time to get the recommended amount of sleep to help you manage the stress caused by the pandemic.

 

2. Minimize news consumption. Stay informed, know what’s going on but put a limit on the number of hours you watch the news or check your social media accounts. Too much exposure to the news can increase your anxiety or stress. “It’s easy for some to stay glued to the news because we are on quarantine but if it’s causing stress and anxiety, it would be better to check news updates twice a day or on specific times of the day,” said Dr. Daryl Lindo-Calleja, psychiatrist and head of the Center for Behavioral Health of The Medical City (TMC).

 

3. Connect with others. As recommended by the Psychological Association of the Philippines, stay connected with people whom you value. Use phone, video, or online tools to check on them and to share emotional support. With the current technology, options are endless. Talking to friends and family and staying connected makes you feel a sense of community and is good for your mental well-being.

“You may also reach out to family and friends and talk to them about how you are feeling. Make use of the time to contact those you haven’t talked to for some time and make them feel that you are there for them,” added Dr. Calleja.

 

4. Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy or those that give you a sense of purpose. You can use the new found time to read a good book or try a new hobby. Search the net for online sites offering free access to e-books and audiobooks.

“Or you can help or participate in community efforts or projects against the spread of COVID-19 while at home,” said Dr. Calleja.

While doing something fun for yourself, Dr. Calleja said you should try to vary your activities during the day. It is rather tempting to finish a whole new series and just sit in front of the TV the whole day, but this should be avoided.

Whenever you feel yourself getting caught up in fear of what might happen, try to shift your focus to things you can control. “There will always be fear in the unknown and when there is uncertainty, there will always be fear and stress,” said Dr. Calleja. You cannot control the increasing number of COVID-19 patients but you can take steps to reduce your own personal risk by practicing good hand hygiene and social distancing and by staying home as much as possible.

Following these steps can help you cope with the changes brought about by the pandemic. If you are not able to manage your anxiety or stress on your own, reach out to a trusted person or seek mental health support from mental health/counseling services in your area.

 

For consultation and inquiries, please call the TMC Department of Psychiatry at 8988-1000 or 8988-7000 ext. 6282.

 


 

(References: Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, Psychological Association of the Philippines, and The Medical City Department of Psychiatry)


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